I was so excited to find this place. I'd been out and about in Bournemouth the day before, walking miles and miles to find something woolly or fabricy or beady or textiley or just anything creative really. And there was nothing! Nothing! Can you believe that?! I even went into the Tourist Information and they sort of looked askance at a mad northerner with green hair asking for 'anything woolly before I go mad!' with a glint in my eye. Nothing. But they did assure me that there was somewhere in Poole, probably to get me out of the office...
There was a half day excursion to Poole the next day so I tried to get on the internet in the evening to find out where it was but things kept cutting out and I kept having to speak to people (I know, speak to people!), so I didn't get very far but luckily Roy, the driver, dropped us nearly outside the Poole Tourist Information Centre and I was slightly less manic when I asked them where it was because I hadn't spent all day looking for a bloody shop! They were really kind and excited - maybe one of them was a knitter?!
Anyway, I got there and she was nice (I think her name was Jo but I don't want to hold myself to that so I'll call her a very respectful 'she') but she didn't half make me jump when she said hello! There were little hidey holes in this shop, lots of corners to stuff wool in and she was hidden right at the back so that I hadn't even noticed her. She left me to it and I was happy, checking out all of the interesting stuff she had in. I'm not going to go through what she had, I'm sure you can see that on her internet shop but she did have King Cole! Which I believe makes her a good kind of wool shop.
I was really pleased to see that she'd got a good mixture of wools in there - some exciting and new and colourful and some baby-ish and acrylic-y. In fact, an awful lot like our shop. She had the same Ikea shelves and a vintage looking table in the middle of it which was literally crammed full of stuff:
Doesn't it look lovely!? Remind you of anywhere!? I really enjoyed looking through all of her buttons. I had in mind something that I wanted and she had them but she only had nine or ten and I needed bloody 15 (I would have to be awkward) so I settled for something else but it isn't really settling if you love them almost as much, is it? It's just a different path through the project journey.
I loved the little spinning wheel in the corner but forgot to ask if she was a spinner or had any fibre. It's not something that automatically comes into my head to talk about if I must admit - Sue's a lot different... We talked about all sorts of stuff; knitting, crochet, needles, suppliers and theft. She was telling me that early on she had a break in and he/she/it took some money from her back room but luckily left the yarn alone. If I remember rightly, she'd only been open eight months at that point so it must have been really hard. My stomach went. It's weird, before I opened the shop stuff like that just sort of happened. It was bad but it wasn't heart breaking but now I know that that really could have been the end. We wouldn't have survived if it had happened to us for definite. Hmm... it wasn't all doom and gloom though.
One of the things I most like about her shop was the separate patterns area. It means that customers can have a right good nosey through the patterns without being in anybody's way and being comfortable. Good for everybody. I loved all of the pin boards at the back too - a place for local events and knitters to organise, plan and promote bits and bobs. That's lovely. I don't know if you've noticed out pin boards but we have three here and there and I have another one to put up but nowhere to bloody put it - I'm thinking in the loo? Anyway, I liked this idea.
I thought her window display was lovely. I liked the way that the back of the shelves backed onto it so that the balls were see-able from in the shop and by the window. Yes, that was a good idea. One that I shall be borrowing *cough*stealing*cough* if and when we ever move into a bigger space.
I stayed for a good hour and had a marvellous time, I didn't spend much, only about £20 but I know from experience that £20 can be the difference between a good day and a shit day and I did my bit, I talked up the Galaxy DK and got her a little sale. And again, I know from experience how lovely it is when a customer does a little bit of your job for you when you're busy with another customer (it also helps when you're not affiliated with the shop I guess, the customer didn't need to know that I own one that sells the Galaxy just a couple of hundred miles away...).
Somehow I didn't get a picture of my haul but it included a lovely cashmere and silk blend lace weight, over twenty buttons and a crochet hook for the laceweight that never actually got used... too busy with my Oranje I'm afraid. Not that that's bloody finished... Or anywhere near.
Anyway, that's that. Three blog posts in one week - aren't you doing well!??!
P.s. I was also heartened to realise that I hadn't once checked to see if the carpet was messy. Maybe that means I don't have to hoover!? :)